I'm running 2.3.4 with a few modules. I've had a look to see if the problem could be in any of the modules, but it appears the dev stuff is only in the core. It does bypass a few of the permissions, so perhaps something is getting included that isn't normally. That's just a guess though. If I discover anything, I'll add it to that bug.
Billy Bob: I have also been in IT for 27 years (if you count my informative years programming assembly on a ZX81 as "IT"). I have learnt that if one system runs an order of magnitude slower than another, then there is usually a configuration issue. I'm running SS on a fairly average system with a few modules and a dozen pages - just me, but I'm still evaluating. Each page is delivered in 100mS on average. There are around 20 queries, all running in less than 5mS each, and taking up 60% of the total time (the other 40% being the execution of PHP). Memory usage tops out at 15Mbyte per request.
Although that says nothing about how the system will scale under load, it does tell us that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the CMS performance. Really. Obviously it is not for everyone, and I appreciate that we often just need to get a job done and don't have the time to mess around debugging applications. So, I wish you the best in whatever system you eventually choose, but I just felt I could not leave the thread hanging like that.